Editor’s Note: This story has been edited to correct an inaccurate description of a senior defense official’s comments about explosions at a Russian airbase.
Ukrainian forces in the north saw some gains in territory recaptured, including areas near Kharkiv, a senior Defense Department official said today.
In the Ukrainian city of Kherson, Ukraine’s forces continue to press hard against the Russians, the official said. As an example, they inflicted damage on bridges used by the Russians.
On Aug. 9, a series of explosions took place at an airbase in Russian-occupied territory. While the United States does not know what caused the explosions, the official said, what is clear is that they caused significant damage to Russian aircraft and munitions used to attack Ukraine.
The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in eastern Ukraine is currently under Russian control. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, there is no immediate threat to nuclear safety, but that could change.
Russia continues to fire indiscriminately on Ukrainian territory, resulting in massive civilian casualties, the official said.
“That’s largely due to the indiscriminate bombing that the [Russian forces] conduct,” the official said.
Although the Russians have a significantly larger force than Ukraine, “the things going against the Russians are the continued impacts [of Ukraine’s progress] on their morale, their ability to sustain themselves — all of which have been impacted by the Ukrainians’ ability to get after [Russian] command and control, ammunition, sustainment and logistics locations,” the official said.
The official said that on a scale of zero to 10, the effectiveness of Ukraine’s armed forces would be a 12 “just based on how impressive they’ve been to us in so many different ways. … They have found ways to do things that we might not have thought were possible.”